On February 13, 2014, at approximately 7:54 p.m., officers from the Southern District were dispatched to a residence in the 3600 block of 7th Avenue in Edgewater for an unknown disturbance call.
The homeowners called due to suspicious activity on the part of their nephew in the basement of the home. While on scene, officers observed a chemical odor and items that the nephew indicated he used to manufacture methamphetamine. The home was immediately evacuated and secured. The Anne Arundel County Fire Department was notified along with the Fire Marshal and a Hazmat Unit. Hazmat determined that the air quality in the home was safe at this time. Detectives from the Police Department’s Special Enforcement Section, who are specifically trained in gathering evidence and dismantling clandestine labs, responded to conduct an investigation and collect evidence. The occupants of the home were transported to Southern station where they were checked by Fire Department personnel for possible exposure to hazardous material.
Investigators have determined that the suspect was utilizing numerous potentially combustible chemicals along with equipment and containers such as flasks, beakers, tubing and extensive glassware to manufacture methamphetamine inside of the home for recreational purposes. In addition, notebooks with methamphetamine recipes were located along with numerous chemical equations. In total, there were precursors for a more sophisticated lab capable of producing higher quantities of methamphetamine. The making of methamphetamine is a chemical process and this process produces hazardous vapors and flammable gases that are capable of producing toxic atmospheres, fires or explosions. There is no indication that the suspect was attempting to make any type of bomb and there were no booby traps located in the home. The home is currently being cleaned in an effort to render it completely safe again.
Suspect: Joshua Lee Bell, 22, of 3600 Block 7th Avenue, Edgewater Md. The suspect was charged with Possession of methamphetamine and illegally manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance